Grace and peace.

By now, all of you have been made aware of the coronavirus which has been prominent in the news this week. As a community of faith that cares for one another, we are making some changes and taking precautions to help prevent the spread of illness, especially in our gathered times of worship, study, and fellowship.

You will note that there are dispensers of sanitizers around the church, please use them. During our Connection Café, we will now be serving individually-wrapped food and pouring individual drinks as wanted. All servers will wash their hands and we encourage you to continually do so as well.

We have turned off the drinking fountains but will have containers of water available with paper cups. The water dispenser in the alcove is still turned on but we are asking that you NOT fill up your water bottles there, but use the paper cups provided.

During worship, we will not share the passing of the peace. We encourage you to acknowledge one another with a warm hello or gracious smile, and/or to share a sign of affection and hospitality by putting your hand on your heart or a simple bow. This will probably be the hardest thing for us to do, for as one member has said, “it is in our DNA to warmly hug and greet one another each week.”

Another notable change will be with how we celebrate communion. We still encourage you to come forward to receive the gifts of bread and cup. The bread will be given to you by a pastor using clean gloves. Gluten-free bread will continue to be available. The juice will be in individual glasses that will be properly cleaned and sterilized. Both the bread and cups will be covered until the time of disbursement.

If you are feeling ill, please do not come to church. It is better that you stay at home and take care of yourself so you can return to church soon. Be sure to join us online at gablesucc.org/live or our Facebook page.

If you find yourself ill or know of others who need help, such as with a meal, transportation, a trip to the drugstore, etc., our Called to Care Team stands ready to help. Please contact Carol Fifield at miamifife@gmail.com or me at LaurieH@gablesucc.org.

I also assure you that Pastor Megan has gone to extraordinary measures to make sure our Sunday School is safe and that our students will be well-tended to, using the guidelines of Miami-Dade Public Schools and medical professionals. Our Early Childhood Center and the Community Arts Program have also gone to significant lengths to make sure that all our students are safe.

Finally, let’s keep one another and those who are dealing with illness of any kind in prayer.

Wishing all of you peace of heart and health of body.

Pastor Laurie

 

Stay up to date with information about church events and helpful resources by visiting gablesucc.org/coronavirus or the GablesUCC app.